30 October 2009

Kiss Alive 35

James' birthday is in December. But, when I heard on the radio about KISS adding Little Rock to their Alive 35 Tour in October, I KNEW it would be the perfect birthday surprise! I found cheap tickets on eBay, I found the perfect sitter for the kids - thank you Sister White! - and I kept my mouth shut for about three weeks! Tough one! I even had James' Dad in on it - he pitched in with some money for a tee-shirt!

The day of the show, Sister White shows up to take a family picture for us. Which she did. We then all circle James and hand him a box while singing Happy Birthday to You. He is dumbfounded. I tell him to open it, he protests that it is NOT his birthday. I insist; he opens it and says - "No way! Are these KISS tickets? Let's go!"

We loved it! Loud, loud and loud. Fire, expolosions, fog, lights, moving stages, flying over the crowd, all the make-up and garrish costuming that made KISS famous. Our seats were close enough to feel the heat from the flames! What really struck me about the show was that it was not just a show. Paul Stanley talked to the audience. Gene Simmons played with the crowd. Each band member had a huge solo stint. The band is not just about brash outfits: they can really play. They love what they do. You can feel it. (You can also feel your fillings in your teeth vibrating!)

Happy Birthday, Babe.

29 October 2009

Kohen's Park

Calling all local friends - and any from beyond who would like to visit us - we found a NEW PARK! (I think I was more excited than the kids. I love a new place to play for free!)

It has a great play area, big swings, two tether ball poles and this cool barrel rolling feature. But, one of the coolest things was the size - it is huge! There's a basketball court, a soccer field and a baseball field! And, even cooler than all that space - there are balls, just sitting on the fields and court, begging kids to come and play! Space to run, plenty of balls and fresh air! Just my kind of place.

One last cool feature - like it needs another, right? - there's a sweet mare in the field next to the baseball field. The kids loved to pet her, and she seemed happy to have kids playing all around her!
Local friends: take 38 out of town to 321; turn right and it's about a half mile down on your right. See you there!

27 October 2009

It's NOT a costume...

Now introducing Jay Michael as "Chocolate Beard, the Doughnut Eating Pirate". Kind of a messy Halloween costume, but, delicious!

Man, I'm glad I took his clothes off before I gave him that snack!

25 October 2009

First Haircut

Jay's hair is curly, like his Dad's. So sweet.
But, it was getting a bit unruly....
So, James took the trimmer and his scissors
and voila - a masterpiece.

Handsome, handsome!

The aftermath - love those curls!

20 October 2009

Snack, Anyone?

Snacking is huge deal at the Ball Team house. Whenever the kids ask for a snack, I always say, have whatever is open. But, invariably, they want whatever is not yet open. Or worse, (and often....) there's nothing in the house. Seriously, is it just me? Or, do your kiddos attack when you return from the grocery store, too? I literally hide food in my own house.

The kids do usually ask for a snack. It's not like they have free reign. Well, I guess I only have a loose hold. They are growing; they are busy and they are healthy. And they have the appetites to prove it. So let me share with you our latest system for curbing the the snacking.

Snack bins. Here's the way it works. (And so far, it does.) I go to the store. I then take the snacks I bought and divide them into snack-size ziplock baggies. (You could buy the snacks already divided in the packaging, but, I thought that was too expensive.) I make enough snacks in enough variety for each lady to have enough snacks in her bin to last two weeks. Equal share for each lady and they ranged from DingDongs (found those on sale at the bread store) to fig newtons. Also part of this system is the fridge - all the veggies and fruits in there are free at all times. We have one lady who could live off of fruit alone and another who loves fresh veggies. I stocked them up on their own designated shelf of the fridge.

On the first day we did this, the ladies thought it looked like Christmas morning. By the end of the two weeks, something interesting happened: one lady had lots leftover; one lady had only a few leftover; two ladies had nothing leftover. The four of them had created a micro-economic community and the currency was a snack bag.

More random rules of snack bins: (1) You must ask before snacking. (2) Don't touch each others bins. (3) If your friend comes over, they eat out of your snack bin, too. (4) Any snacker must share with Jay Michael, who does not yet have a snack bin. (5) All trading and negotiating must be agreed to by both parties and approved by the Mom.

We will continue. I'm thinking it's working...

19 October 2009

What A Season!!!

James and I each have an NFL Team. His is the Minnesota Vikings. Always has been, always will be. He's a die hard fan. True and true. He bleeds purple and gold. Ok, maybe not.

My team is the New Orleans Saints. I am not such a fanatic about them, but, I've always rooted for them, even when others called them the New Orleans Aint's.

This year, for the first time in NFL history (44 years) BOTH our teams are undefeated! We are each at the top of our respective conferences. We are both vying for a superbowl slot. Unheard of!

On an ironic side note - this is the first year of our marriage, too, that we have turned off all our TV - no cable, satellite, nothing. We have iPhones and the internet to follow our teams, but, haven't seen too many games. We have invited ourselves over to friends houses to watch certain games. A fan is a fan, right?!

I hope I haven't just jinxed us both, Babe! If they start losing it's all on me.....

17 October 2009

Did You Know .....

...that if you have any of those fleece blankets with the fringe tied on the edges, that you can tie the fringe to the underside of your bunkbed's frame top bunk and make instant HAMMOCKS! Jay will literally dive head first into the hammock and swing and laugh. What great fun (at the expense of a few fringes, but, the laughs are worth it!)

16 October 2009

Excuse Me?

I found this in the store the other day. Let's get our holidays straight, people. It's kinda like hearing your favorite rock song remixed and playing on a country station....

07 October 2009

Fun with Chores ::::

Now THIS is how your lay your clothes out for school:
I love my daughters. I always want them to think outside the box. I always want them to work hard, yet add their own mark whenever they go and whatever they do. Keep it up ladies!

02 October 2009

Josephine is Five

Josephine was born in Greensboro, North Carolina on a warm October morning. She is the youngest of our daughters and the most "girly" of all. She loves to dance and dress up. Josephine loves to color and draw. She will sit and cut up a piece of paper until you need a vacuum to clean it up, the pieces are so small. She plays with dolls and cars, but, I think her favorite is to play a "game". (At our house, playing a "game" is 'Ballspeak' for playing pretend. One lady will say, Do you want to play a game with me? And another lady will answer, Okay. You be the horse and I will buy you and take you home. We live behind the couch. ...) Josephine has a vivid imagination. She can be a mermaid one minute and a lion tamer the next.

Josephine especially loves to dance. She twirls to movie credits and bops her head constantly to the radio. She sings around the house and when we are in the van and it's her turn to pick what music is on, she always picks Primary songs. Always.

A lot of our friends believe Josephine is a quiet, reserved, dainty little lady. Maybe she comes off that way at first, but, she's a powerhouse. She will tell her sisters in no uncertain terms exactly what she is thinking; she is known to have the loudest voice in the house; and she can hold her own when it comes to wrestling someone to the ground (yes, that happens all the time!)

Josephine also likes computer games and playing outside. She is perfecting her cartwheel and can jump rope. She's getting better on roller skates and can swim underwater. Another big accomplishment - blowing bubbles with bubblegum!

I asked her some questions, just so we could remember her at five years old and this is what I discovered:
favorite food - chicken and macaroni & cheese
favorite book - Yertle the Turtle
favorite place to go - Branson, MO
favorite ice cream - vanilla with "everything" (chocolate, peanut butter and cherries, etc).

For Josephine's birthday, we had birthday balloons, we had cake, we had presents. I'm just thankful we had Josephine. She is a creative, thoughtful little lady and I am excited to see the young woman she will become. We all love you, Josephine.
Happy Birthday, Puda-puda.
Birthday Balloons --- xBox with Daddy
Gifts - tutu, new shades and stuffed mouse (thanks GrandMa and GranDad), plus - her first set of wheels!